Energy networks

Editor's picks

After distribution network operators (DNOs) published their final RIIO ED2 business plans last month, Grid Edge Policy director and former Ofgem partner, Maxine Frerk, tries (and struggles) to draw some comparisons. Given their various inconsistencies and sheer size – amounting to ten of thousands of pages when including the supporting documents - Frerk asks: who are they expecting to read them?
Analysis
The government has confirmed plans for the regulation of the heat network market, including appointing Ofgem as the regulator and spreading the resulting costs across all energy consumers. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out its intended arrangements in its response to a consultation on the market framework for heat networks.
News
OMERS Infrastructure has agreed to sell its 25% stake in SGN to Global Infrastructure Partners for an undisclosed sum. SGN is the second largest gas distribution network in Great Britain, serving nearly six million homes and businesses across two license areas in Scotland and southern England.
News

Featured

A Utility Week poll of sector leaders has identified the effects of counteractive regulatory regimes as the most likely factor to derail delivery of net-zero carbon goals. Our research shows two-thirds of utilities see regulatory drivers as a potential challenge to their decarbonisation commitments while 50% said the same of policy frameworks.
News
Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has reached financial close on its first battery storage project in the UK. The 40MW/40MWh project at Maldon in Essex is part of a 187MWh portfolio of seven battery storage projects acquired from Capbal in June. 
News
The UK’s largest flow battery has been energised as part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project led by Pivot Power. The 2MW vanadium redox flow battery manufactured by Invinity Energy Systems is being combined with a 50MW lithium-ion battery to operate as a single energy storage asset, which is also the largest battery to be directly connected to the UK’s transmission network to date.
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Latest in Energy networks

The Energy Networks Associations has set out its plans for its Open Networks project in 2022, which will continue to focus on heavily standardising and coordinating flexibility services. The ENA said the industry initiative, which was launched in 2017 to accelerate the transition to a smart, flexible energy system, has enabled the UK to establish “world leading” local flexibility markets, with contracts for more than 3GW of flexibility being made available for tender in Great Britain last year.
News
Britain’s gas networks have released a new delivery plan setting out how they intend to make the grid ready to begin injecting natural gas blended with 20% hydrogen in 2023. The document published by the Energy Networks Association includes a timeline for necessary changes by government and regulatory bodies across five “market pillars”: legislation, regulation, codes, licences and safety.
News
The UK’s largest ever study into domestic flexibility has suggested it could reduce peak electricity demand by as much as 6.8GW – or 10% - by 2030. The CrowdFlex project involving Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, National Grid Electricity System Operator, Octopus Energy and Ohme, explored how 25,000 households responded to price signals to reduce or increase their consumption.
News
Net zero will not be achieved by central planning alone – it will involve every person making their own “calculated gambles”. To encourage the public to do this, the utilities sector will need to focus on storytelling skills every bit as much as engineering expertise. Energy policy expert Tom Lowe discusses how we can have these conversations and why now is the time to retire the term “consumer”.
Opinion
Utilities, including water and energy supply, require an extensive and diverse set of infrastructures. Access control in these industries must therefore address the many security challenges and potential inherent risks. Scattered sites, such as electrical substations, electric power plants, wind turbines, solar farms and hydraulic stations are particularly hazardous.
Market insight
Independent energy developers Carlton Power and Stag Energy have announced plans to merge their operations to focus on energy storage and grid stability services including the provision of system inertia, reactive power and short circuit capacity. The combined company will also continue the development of a portfolio of green hydrogen production projects and launch a new carbon advisory business later this year.
News
Nearly 28,000 pure electric vehicles were registered in the UK during December, bringing the total for 2021 to almost 191,000, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The annual tally increased by around 76% when compared to the more than 108,000 registered in the previous year, growing their share of the total car market from 6.6% to 11.6%.
News
The annual Queen's New Year honours list included several civil servants working in Defra and the Environment Agency as well as a number of energy leaders for their work to address climate change and fuel poverty challenges.
News
The past year has seen regulatory tussles, game-changing acquisitions, turmoil in the energy retail market and the emergence of a road map for net zero. But what were the stories that got Utility Week members clicking throughout the year?
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